Mirrors, the new multi-venue event from the promoters behind Dot to Dot, proved that festivals should not be restrained to those carefree summer months.
Held this weekend on Halloween, organisers eschewed the traditional theme and provided an eclectic musical line-up on the stages of three stellar venues: Oslo, St John at Hackney and the Round Chapel on Lower Clapton Road. Ticket holders had only to walk five minutes between each site and despite 2,000 attendees, there was no time wasted queuing for drinks or entry.
Headliners at the sell-out festival included The Wytches, Nadine Shah and The Thurston Moore Band but true gems were the lesser-known acts. 4AD’s new signing, Pixx (also known as Hannah Rodgers) donned elf ears to croon to the crowd at Oslo, although her melancholic vocals would have been better suited to one of the church venues.
Midlands electronica duo Shelter Point were first at the atmospheric St John at Hackney and their astral sounds, overlaid with Liam Hearne’s wistful lyrics bore a strong resemblance to the music of James Blake or Thom Yorke. By the second act, festival goers had begun to migrate to the church’s upper tier pews for the best view of the stunning grade II-listed building. The formidable Nadine Shah brought a darker edge to the evening, with her heady combination of gothic acoustic guitar and brooding lyricism.
But it was Rhye who stole the show at Mirrors, the band’s clicking beats, swooning bass lines and androgynous vocals matching perfectly with the echoing expanse of the church. Singer Mike Milosh opened with a slowed-down version of ‘3 Days’, gathering momentum and confidence throughout the hour-long set.
After a two-year hiatus, Rhye took the chance to sample some much-anticipated new material and closed with the sublime ‘Last Dance’.
And with that, festival goers spilled out into the night, to wreak Halloween havoc or retire to their homes, happy they now have a new arsenal of musical earworms to keep them going until summer. Maybe winter isn’t so bad after all.